San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Burglar Bungles Robbery Attempt

The daily paper Al Día calls “Gato Felix” Araya a “legendary wrongdoer,” a career burglar who has seen the inside of prison more often than the outside. In a country that does not usually glorify its delinquents, Felix Araya is a favorite with crime reporters (if not with the courts) due to his unfailing good cheer when he is caught. He also boasts he never met a lock he didn’t like.

But even experts need to keep up with technological advances.

Police allege Araya and an accomplice broke into a cooperative last weekend in the western Central Valley town of San Ramón.

Like a true professional, Gato Felix allegedly disabled the surveillance cameras and set to work with his trusty wire cutters on what he thought were the alarm cables. Then, hearing no alarm bells or whistles, he entered for some leisurely looting while his accomplice applied his acetylene torch to the safe, police say.

But he had succeeded only in disabling part of the air conditioning system. The alarm turned out to be one of the silent types that notified a private monitoring agency that in turn called the police station in nearby Grecia. Araya and his accomplice were ordered to six months of preventive detention at the familiar San Sebastián holding cells. Again.


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